Aberdeen South

2015 Result:
Conservative: 11087 (22.8%)
Labour: 12991 (26.8%)
Lib Dem: 2252 (4.6%)
SNP: 20221 (41.6%)
Green: 964 (2%)
UKIP: 897 (1.8%)
Independent: 139 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 7230 (14.9%)

Category: Semi-marginal SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, North East. Part of the Aberdeen City council area.

Main population centres: Aberdeen, Cults, Peterculter, Milltimber.

Profile: Aberdeen South consists of the Southern part of Aberdeen itself and the more rural areas to the West of the city, including the middle class suburbs of Peterculter, Bieldside and Cults. There are also more working class areas included in the seat, such as the post-war estates in Torry, Kincorth and Nigg..

Politics: The seat was won by Labour in 1997, having had the distinction of being the only seat that Labour lost in the 1992 election. It had been held by the Labour MP Dame Anne Begg, only the second full time wheelchair user elected to the Commons, but was lost to the SNP in their 2015 landslide.

Current MP
CALLUM MCCAIG (SNP) Educated at Edinburgh University. Former Parliamentary assistant. Aberdeen councillor since 2007, former leader of Aberdeen council. First elected as MP for Aberdeen South in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 8914 (21%)
Lab: 15722 (37%)
LDem: 12216 (28%)
SNP: 5102 (12%)
Oth: 1080 (3%)
MAJ: 3506 (8%)
Con: 7134 (17%)
Lab: 15272 (37%)
LDem: 13924 (33%)
SNP: 4120 (10%)
Oth: 1171 (3%)
MAJ: 1348 (3%)
Con: 7098 (19%)
Lab: 14696 (40%)
LDem: 10308 (28%)
SNP: 4293 (12%)
Oth: 495 (1%)
MAJ: 4388 (12%)
Con: 11621 (26%)
Lab: 15541 (35%)
LDem: 12176 (28%)
SNP: 4299 (10%)
Oth: 425 (1%)
MAJ: 3365 (8%)

2015 Candidates
ROSS THOMSON (Conservative) Born Aberdeen. Educated at Bridge of Don Academy and Aberdeen University. Retail store trainer. Aberdeen councillor since 2012. Contested Gordon 2010.
ANNE BEGG (Labour) Born 1955, Bechin. Educated at Brechin High School and Aberdeen University. History and english teacher. MP for Aberdeen South 1997 to 2015. Begg was born with Gaucher Disease and is the first full time wheelchair user to be elected to the Commons.
DENIS RIXSON (Liberal Democrat)
CALLUM MCCAIG (SNP) Educated at Edinburgh University. Parliamentary assistant. Aberdeen councillor since 2007, former leader of Aberdeen council.
Comments - 246 Responses on “Aberdeen South”
  1. Congratulations to NTY UK for calling this one. It surprised me!

  2. So going back to my rough list of the 10% least deprived constituencies in the UK which are predominantly urban according to data from the Index of Multiple Deprivation, here’s how they voted this time around:

    Aberdeen South (Con gain from SNP)

    Cardiff North (Lab gain from Con)

    Edinburgh South (Lab hold)
    Edinburgh West (LD gain from SNP)

    Surrey Heath (Con hold)

    East Dunbartonshire (LD gain from SNP)
    East Renfrewshire (Con gain from SNP)

    Harrogate and Knaresborough (Con hold)

    Beckenham (Con hold)
    Epsom and Ewell (Con hold)
    Esher and Walton (Con hold)
    Guildford (Con hold)
    Hemel Hempstead (Con hold)
    Reigate (Con hold)
    Richmond Park (Con hold/re-gain from by-election)
    Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner (Con hold)
    Runnymede and Weybridge (Con hold)
    St. Albans (Con hold)
    Twickenham (LD gain from Con)
    Wimbledon (Con hold)
    Woking (Con hold)

    Altrincham and Sale West (Con hold)
    Cheadle (Con hold)

    Sheffield Hallam (Lab gain from LD)

    Fareham (Con hold)

    York Outer (Con hold)

    As elected in 2017:
    Conservative – 20 (nc)
    Labour – 3 (+2)
    Liberal Democrat – 3 (+2)
    Scottish National – 0 (-4)

  3. I wonder if Cardiff North is only a labour marginal because it is in Wales.

  4. Aldershot Farnborough are in Rushmoor Borough, which is much more deprived than Surrey Heath borough, which forms the bulk of Surrey Heath constituency.

  5. @ ORIELENSIS “Aldershot Farnborough are in Rushmoor Borough, which is much more deprived than Surrey Heath borough, which forms the bulk of Surrey Heath constituency.”

    Yes I know, Surrey Heath comes under Farnsborough-Aldershot urban area however.

  6. The collective term for the Farnham/ Aldershot/ Farnborough/ Fleet/ Ash Vale/ Camberley/ Sandhurst conurbation is Blackwater Valley. It is centered on Aldershot and Farnborough.

  7. OK

  8. BM11- no, the key to understanding Cardiff North is that it has a large public sector population (a fact that some contributors don’t seem to like being mentioned for some bizarre reason even though it is demonstrably true). It is to Cardiff what Edgbaston is to Birmingham.

  9. I always thought that Cardiff Central was the predominantly public-sector constituency, and that North had more employees in the private sector.

  10. Former Labour MP for this seat, Frank Doran has died, aged 68.

    I hadn’t realised he married Joan Ruddock late in life.

  11. ‘Former Labour MP for this seat, Frank Doran has died’


    He had the distinction of representing Aberdeen South, Aberdeen Central and Aberdeen North

  12. Doran & Ruddock had been partners for years before they married.

    Tim is right of course.

  13. Sadly he’ll largely be remembered for his ill judged remarks about why MPs should be allowed to jump the queue in the canteen. A useful reminder that it’s not always Sir Bufton Tufton type Tory MPs who make such pompous and self important statements.

  14. True.

    Many older both Labour & Tory MPs & Cllrs in my experience have that opinion of entitlement.

    Hence Speaker Martin & the Wintertons’ insistence on taking First Class trains, “because I’m a Member of Parliament.” ie not because he wanted to do work – but because he didn’t want to be disturbed by the masses (even if some happened to be his constituents).

  15. Depute lord provost Alan Donnelly charged over sexual assault allegations.

  16. The Scottish Conservatives are investigating Ross Thomson after an incident in the Strangers Bar at the Palace of Westminster last night.

  17. Apparently Thomson (who was allegedly extremely drunk) started groping some of the male patrons. He was escorted out the bar but no allegations/ charges were made.

  18. I do wonder why so many gay MPs seem prone to commit harassment and predatory behaviour. As youngsters like Ross Thomson and Ben Howlett show, it isn’t just the stereotypical “dirty old man” factor. Of the many gay people I know and have known, I would judge almost none as capable of this kind of thing. Were I gay I would be hopping mad at this kind of behaviour from people who should be setting an example, undoubtedly it must reinforce homophobia when Joe Public reads such stories in The Sun and The Mail.

    It is very very unlikely “no allegations / charges would have been made” had Ross Thomson publicly done this to women in the bar. He’d very likely be facing jail time, as has indeed happened to others in the public eye for doing such things. Why is gay sexual harassment treated so much more leniently? It may be because male victims are more likely to shrug it off than women.

  19. Interesting comment, HH.

    Firstly, men process these types of things differently, on the whole. A few things that happened to me when I was younger would have the #metoo crowd spluttering into their skinny single shot lattes, but I wasn’t offended at the time and I’m definitely not now. If anything, I found these incidents funny rather than traumatic. Of course, as a 6’1 male who has never been daintily built, I’ve got a far better chance of defending myself than the average female.

  20. As for worrying (as a gay man) about how ‘people’ will interpret this…I’m past caring. Homophobes gonna homophobe, frankly. You do make a good point though about why a not unattractive man like Thomson would stoop to do this, when I’m sure he would get his share of attention in a gay bar.

    So, yes, you are right that had he touched up some women he would be in a lot more trouble than he is. I do think however we are at risk of obsessing over bottom pinchers rather than focusding on serious sexual assaults and rapes.

  21. “I do think however we are at risk of obsessing over bottom pinchers rather than focusding on serious sexual assaults and rapes.”

    Yes I agree.

    I do think MPs in general seem predisposed to sleazy behaviour, both gay and straight, maybe it’s the kind of personalities attracted into being an MP, and the unusual situation of being generally unattractive yet fawned upon by hot young researchers etc.

  22. The Tories should investigate this immediately, and consider suspension. There should be zero-tolerance for this sort of stuff in Westminster or indeed anywhere else.

  23. Another interesting aspect is Ross Thompson is married and not single.
    I am also gay and am shocked how he hasn’t had the whip suspended and that an outrage has not occurred because he hasn’t has the whip suspended. Not sure they can say its because the police are not investigating;

  24. Well, HH and myself touched on it above (pun intended). Put simply, people are not as offended when these things happen to men as they are when they happen to women. We live in a culture where men being raped in prison is treated as a big joke…and male prison rape is far more serious than what has occurred here.

    Similarly, many still don’t regard gay marriage as a ‘proper’ marriage so hence the lack of outcry about that.

  25. Police apparently removed Ross Thomson MP from a Commons’ bar after complaints were made that he sexually touched three males in their 20s.

    He was unavailable for comment.

    It’s similar to the case of the Bath Tory MP who went on to lose his seat in 2017. Thomson was also a colleague of jailed LGBTory chairman Matt Sephton.

  26. Apologies for some reason the comments didn’t appear when I searched on this seat.

    HH – yes, we discussed this previously. Re politicians, sadly it’s just that a lot ‘go native’ ie join the House and think they can get away with it (because they see others do).

    Even at local level, I recall a couple of decent cllrs who campaigned against hypocrisy and sleaze, then became troughing huge claimers of expenses themselves.

  27. BM11 – the Scottish Sun tomorrow answers your Q.

    It seems his partner is now his ex and states the MP’s behaviour shows what he is really like and he’s received threats since tweeting as much.

    The paper also reminds readers of a few other gaffes, including posing on Saddam’s throne.

  28. Just seen that – makes the issue even more serious imo.

  29. Tristan: “I do think however we are at risk of obsessing over bottom-pinchers rather than focusing on serious sexual assaults and rapes.”

    The behaviours are linked though. Today’s bottom-pinchers could be tomorrow’s rapists. Just because this sort of behaviour isn’t a jailworthy offence doesn’t mean that it’s not part of a corrosive culture which society should collectively seek to change.

  30. While we’re on posters’ sexual preferences – I’m personally straight, I’ve never even dabbled, but when I confided in a close friend that I had a secret I needed to tell her, her first instinct was “are you gay”?

    Don’t know what that says about me…

  31. Does it have to say anything?

  32. I think it should be mentioned here that Thomson has stated today that any allegations of him behaving improperly are ‘completely false’.

  33. ‘I think it should be mentioned here that Thomson has stated today that any allegations of him behaving improperly are ‘completely false’.’

    Some might say that makes him a liar – as well as a lightweight

  34. Ross Thomson presumably thinks he can ride out the storm here although he has now been reported to Westminsters’s standards commissioner so will be interesting to see what happens.

  35. Yes, a few ‘go to ground.’

    A colleague of mine spent all day following Tim Yeo around for a quote back when he was a trainee.

    Up here, Nigel Evans was (unusually) unavailable for comment for 3 days, as was the Fylde MP after both were splashed on the Sunday tabloid front pages, after their young male friends provided evidence which contradicted their denials.

    Sometimes they’re just lucky as other major events happen. But there’s no Brazilians or passports involved here so I can’t see Crick et al pursuing it (he once admitted to following Archer and Mandy around respectively for 12 days!)

    Plus, as with the Copeland by-election: very few if any London-based media will travel up to this seat.

  36. That’s a fair assessment.

    Thomson was already in trouble with his constituency party however, over his multiple gaffes and outspoken support for hard Brexit. He has one of the relatively few Tory seats where hard Brexit is a guaranteed big vote loser. Also he has a lot of baggage from his short period as an MSP. There were whispers of deselection IIRC some weeks before this scandal. He seems a bit of a Scottish Aiden Burley to me and I expect he’ll go the same way.

  37. The Parliamentary investigation has been dropped.

  38. Looks as though Ross Thomson is the only Scottish Tory MP officially backing Boris Johnson.

    Not sure who Douglas Ross and David Mundell are supporting.

  39. Ross Thomson seems to be one of the biggest liabilities of the Tories’ 2017 intake, not quite as embarrassing a figure as Ben Bradley (Mansfield) but not far behind.

  40. The Gordon MP is supporting Johnson as well.

    Danger for the Tories here if Boris is leader is maybe losing votes to the LDs given their local and previous strength here allowing the SNP to come through the middle although it’s hard to say.

    Despite everything I still believe the remain Tory vote oin Scotland is more secure than a lot of fickle leave votes in the he north east and west central Scotland but Boris could wreck that.

  41. Scottish Tories have done an amazing job of disassociating themselves from the UK Party

  42. Agreed. Given the party’s collapse everywhere else last month, the Conservatives did remarkably well to hang on to their one Scottish MEP.

  43. Douglas Ross has just endorsed Mark Harper.

  44. David Mundell has revealed he voted for Matt Hancock today.

  45. Ross Thomson will not contest this seat at the upcoming election.

  46. The 2017 intake of MPs had some right turnips, and Ross was one of them. IIRC it was him who dressed up as a jihadist and took selfies while on a fact-finding trip to the Middle East.

    On another note, Aberdeen South might be on to watch, I don’t think it’s as much of a lost cause for the Tories as some others might. The electoral impact on Britain’s oil capital of a political class tripping over itself to appease Extinction Rebellion is going to be very interesting, I feel…

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)